Reclaim Hosting recently celebrated it's 5th birthday in late July, and during that 5 years we've only had to increase the cost of an account 1 time as a result of adding WHOIS protection by default to all accounts which came at a cost (which Jim wrote about here). As we've grown we've done our best to increase functionality by adding things like offsite backup servers, plugins that allowed advanced Ruby, Python, and Node.JS support, and free SSL certificates for all accounts via Let's Encrypt. All without doing what is very much the industry norm, which is to monetize all the things, luring people in with loss leaders and then hiding costs behind renewals and basic features. We have also always included a free domain registration with the purchase of a hosting plan making it dead simple and extremely inexpensive to get started with an account. For a student hosting plan this means that half of the cost of an account is subsidized by Reclaim Hosting before things like storage and server costs are even calculated. And that's something we plan to continue to do because remaining inexpensive for students and faculty is a key part of why we do what we do, and we want to build a company that can help folks get started in an honest way with clear pricing.
You were probably reading all of the above waiting for the shoe to drop that we are raising our prices. We're not. What you see at Reclaim Hosting is what you get and for now until our costs rise significantly and force our hand, we have no intention of raising the cost of our hosting plans. However one frustration we've had in the past is that despite our low costs, we are often asked if we have any discounts. Despite absorbing a lot of the cost to keep the student plan low, we do have folks mention they are in education as justification that a $30/year plan should be further discounted. Or a faculty member plans to have a group of students sign up and wants to see if they can get the price lower. I get it, I really do. But the harsh reality is that in a world where the norm is to artificially raise prices higher than they should be and then offer supposed "discounts", we are taking an alternative approach and offering honest pricing for everyone. And that means having to say no to discounts.
For years now we've tried our best to balance the rising cost of registering domains while keeping our prices low and to still occasionally throw out a discount here or there for 10% off. Early on we even allowed folks to set themselves up as "affiliates" and provide codes to others that would give both them a discount and credit back to the person who provided the code. In order to maintain a superior level of service and keep to our honest pricing model we need to deprecate these features.
So at the end of the year we will be terminating and removing any outstanding discount codes that are currently floating around (note that this does not apply to bulk purchases made by groups to waive the cost for their students). We will be closing out the affiliate program and processing any outstanding credit for users that took advantage of it. Going forward we will stick to clear and honest pricing without discounts with the hope of being able to continue providing the best deal in the industry without the upsell or hidden costs. We appreciate the support that the educational community has given us over the years and plan to continue to make our service better while keeping costs low for years to come.